Notes Coach for Goosen Tiger Web Traffic

By Associated PressOctober 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Retief Goosen has spent the last nine years sorting out his own swing problems, and it's worked well enough to bring him two U.S. Open titles. But frustration reached a new level this year, which caused the stoic South African to do something radical by his standards.
 
Goosen hired a coach.

He is working with Gregor Jamieson, an instructor at Lake Nona in Orlando, and he already has seen some results. Goosen won the China Masters last week by three shots over Michael Campbell, his first victory of the year.
 
'I've not been very happy with the way things have been going,' Goosen said. 'I had to make a choice. I haven't used anyone for nine years. In a way, I've been too scared to go to somebody to work on your swing in case you get more confused. Gregor has been very simple with the way we've worked on things.'
 
The last coach Goosen had was Sam Frost, the younger brother of David Frost.
 
Goosen said he decided against some of the more established coaches, such as Butch Harmon or David Leadbetter, in part because he wanted his coach to devote as much time to him as needed. Jamieson works with a few European players, but it helps that the coach and player are at Lake Nona.
 
TIGER TRAFFIC
Rob McNamara wouldn't have to pay attention to Tiger Woods to appreciate how his year has gone. All he has do is look at the 'unique browsers' -- number of people visiting -- on Woods' Web site.
 
'There are peaks and valleys depending on how he makes news,' said McNamara, who runs tigerwoods.com. 'On the golf course or off the golf course, that thing really spikes.'
 
The unique browsers were about 8,000 a day until they leapt to 20,696 on June 7, the day Woods said he was ending his nine-week break from golf and entering the U.S. Open. It was relatively stable at about 15,000 during the week of the British Open, then hit 43,199 on the day he captured the claret jug, followed by 49,494 unique browsers the following day.
 
The same thing happened for the PGA Championship. Unique browsers went from 13,869 on Saturday when Woods pulled into a tie with Luke Donald, to 36,287 when he won by five shots at Medinah. The day after the PGA, there were 46,015 unique browsers.
 
Asked about his season after winning the American Express Championship for his sixth consecutive PGA TOUR victory, Woods referred to it as a loss because of his father's death in May.
 
That, too, was reflected on the Web site.
 
There were about 293,836 unique browsers on May 3, the day Woods announced his father's death on the Web site.
 
TURNING IT AROUND
Joe Durant found rock bottom in a Milwaukee hotel room this summer, and the rebound was amazing.
 
He had only one top 10 all year, a tie for fourth in New Orleans at the end of April, and was outside the top 125 on the money list when he returned to his room after a 1-over 71 that left him in danger of missing the cut. Then he discovered he had been robbed of his computer and briefcase that held his car keys, passports and electronic goodies.
 
'That was probably the low point of the year,' Durant said. 'I was so depressed.'
 
And that's why a 67 the next day felt like winning the U.S. Open. Durant tied for 62nd in Milwaukee, but he had felt himself climbing out of the hole, and a third-place finish the following week at the Buick Open essentially locked up his card for the year. The last three weeks have been the best, with a playoff loss in the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, a tie for sixth in Las Vegas and his first victory in five years when he won Disney.
 
'Sometimes you just have to hit bottom to know where it is and start working your way back up,' Durant said.
 
STADIUM UPDATE
Florida went through an uneventful hurricane season, which could not have come at a better time for the PGA Tour during its renovation of the Stadium Course on the TPC at Sawgrass.
 
The home of The Players Championship is expected to reopen on Nov. 13 after a seven-month renovation. The frame of the Mediterranean-style clubhouse already is in place, and there's a chance that also might be ready when The Players Championship begins the second week in May.
 
But don't hold your breath.
 
'The good news is the clubhouse is on schedule,' commissioner Tim Finchem said at a charity luncheon Monday. 'The so-so news is that it's scheduled to open an hour before the first tee time.'
 
PARRY'S LAST RIDE
Craig Parry likely will play his final PGA TOUR event this week at the Chrysler Championship.
 
Parry has won 22 times around the world, including the NEC Invitational at Sahalee in 2002 and at Doral two years ago when he holed a 6-iron from the 18th fairway for eagle on the first playoff hole. The 40-year-old Australian is 179th on the money list and has no intention of going back to Q-school to retain his card.
 
But he's not retiring, either.
 
Parry told the Australian Associated Press last week that he will play the Japan PGA Tour, which is a shorter commute from Australia, and where he has a 10-year exemption from winning the 1997 Japan Open.
 
'It's not a hard decision,' Parry told AAP. 'I'm a little sick of the jet lag. It's a decision more about lifestyle than prize money. It's about getting to a place and feeling healthy and ready to play. I've had a good time in the States, but it's time to go home.'
 
Parry will return to the United States if eligible for a major or a World Golf Championship. And he will keep his home in Florida, renting it next year to Nick O'Hern, a fellow Aussie who wants a U.S. base.
 
DIVOTS
The Players Championship raised $2.7 million to be distributed among 90 charities in northeast Florida. ... Tests on Stephen Ames' back on Monday revealed no skeletal damage, only sore muscles. His agent said doctors have prescribed treatment and rest, and Ames is planning to play in the Skins Game on Thanksgiving weekend and the World Cup in Barbados on Dec. 7-10. ... Paul Azinger says he has spoken with the PGA of America about the Ryder Cup captaincy, although he did not classify it as a formal interview.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK
Justin Rose at Disney and Pat Perez at the Bob Hope Classic each shot 60 in the first round. Neither went on to win the tournament.
 
FINAL WORD
'It's an insult to Europe to say, 'What went wrong?'' -- Paul Azinger, on the U.S. losing to Europe by a record margin for the second straight time.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.